Page:Margaret Fuller by Howe, Julia Ward, Ed. (1883).djvu/200

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BIRTH OF A SON.

185


This dreaded trial was averted. The march to Bologna was countermanded. Margaret's boy saw the light on the 5th of September, and the joyful presence of her husband soothed for her the pangs of a first maternity.

He was indeed obliged to leave her the next day for Rome. Margaret was ill cared for, and lost, through a severe fever, the ability to nurse her child. She was forced to dismiss her only attendant, and to struggle in her helpless condition with the dishonesty and meanness of the people around her. A balia[1] for the child was soon found, but Margaret felt the need of much courage in guarding the first days of her infant's life. In her eyes he grew "more beautiful every hour." The people in the house called him Angiolino, anticipating the name afterwards given him in baptism— Angelo Eugene.

She was soon to find a new trial in leaving him. Her husband still wished to keep his marriage a profound secret, and to this end desired that the baby should be left at Rieti, in charge of "a go nurse who should treat him like a mother." Margaret was most anxious to return to Romc, to be near her husband, and also in order to be able to carry on the literary labour upon which depended not only her own support, but also that of her child.

Writing to Ossoli, she says: "I cannot stay long without seeing the boy. He is so dear, and life seems so uncertain. It is necessary that I should be in Rome a month at least, to write, and to be near you. But I must be free to return here, if I feel too anxious and suffering for him."

Early in November Margaret returned to Rome. In

  1. Wet-nurse